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Facts versus Myths about Allergies

Facts versus Myths about Allergies…  Chris Hall, my former co-publisher of the Tubac Confidential, and I share a malady:  Allergies. She did some research on the subject and sent this to me… Chris writes: I found it interesting and learned a few things I thought I would share with you.

MYTH 1 Only take medication when showing symptoms of an allergy attack.  

falling flowersNope! Experts say most medications for allergies work best if they are already in your system or immediately after exposure.  For people with asthma, daily treatment can reduce risk of asthma attacks.

MYTH 2 If you use one brand of allergy medication, you build a tolerance and it will stop working. 

Not so say the experts.  It is either because your allergies have gotten worse or exposure to the allergen has increased.

MYTH 3 Allergy shots only work in children.

Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, have nothing to do with age and can offer relief at any time.

MYTH 4 Flowers are a leading allergy irritant.

A big no and an apology to those beautiful blooms!  Allergies are primarily caused by wind-pollinated plants; flowers are generally reproduced by insects.  Tree pollen can be spread through the air, which can then be breathed in and cause miserable reactions.  (ask anyone who is allergic to mesquite pollen).  Grasses and ragweed are two other culprits.

MYTH 5 Eat the local honey and you won’t get seasonal allergies.

Sorry, honey is great but not for this. Honeybees pollinate larger flowers.  Flowers produce large sticky grains of pollen that adhere to the bee and don’t get into the air.  Clinical trails show no effect of pasteurized locally made honey on allergies.

MYTH 6 If you didn’t have allergies as a child, you’re in the clear as an adult.

People with allergies have a genetic predisposition to develop an allergy and this can occur at any time.  New exposures may trigger allergic reactions to allergens.

MYTH 7 Clean your house and your allergic reactions will disappear.

Maybe and maybe not.  Some studies are showing younger children exposed to dirty environments might be less likely to develop allergies.  Of course, this is not a free ticket to skip housecleaning!  It IS a good idea to close windows and leave shoes at the door to avoid allergens and shower at the end of the day to avoid bringing pollen into bed.

MYTH 8 An allergy to one thing means you’ll react only to that.

Wish it were so! In fact some allergies might make a person more prone to being allergic to others.

MYTH 9 Short-haired pets won’t irritate allergies.

This is the one that was new to me and I have always had a pet.  It is NOT the pet’s hair that causes allergic reaction; but the animal’s saliva 

and urine.  When pets lick themselves to stay clean, allergens are released into the air.  The animal’s skin can also be an allergen source–the shed skin or dander can           cause a problem.

Now I, Russell, feel it necessary to add a note (see Myth 7): I don’t typically promote products, but I got a Rumba about a year ago. The one with the rubber brushes, not the bristles. I run it a few times a week. It’s not perfect, but I have noticed that the household dust is down about 80% from what it was before. But I still have terrible allergies.

— Russell Palmer